Rebel without a cause….

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Posted by Deeba PAB



Went to drop the daughter to school this morning for the annual camping trip. They’re off for 3 days to an adventure camp in the lap of the Himalayas. A camp filled with much excitement for the 13 year olds…with promises of body surfing, night hiking, river crossing, rappelling, fish catching techniques, rowing & much more.

It's 3.30 am, time to get moving, and the argument begins once again…
1. You aren’t going to wear flip-flops & board the train?
Of course I am! We ALL are!
(Pre-decided...hmmmmm)
But, I argue, lamelessly, the platforms here are filthy.
Don’t I know? We do this every year. It’s OK. We’re ALL wearing these!
I rest my case! Peer pressure, mob mentality… whatever!
2. For heaven’s sake, does each toe nail HAVE to be a different colour?
(Fuchsia pink, sunshine yellow, lime green, orange & turquoise)
Yeah, they’re matching the flip-flops. That’s why I bought them!
‘Them’ refers to new Converse flip flops, & also to a dazzling array of nail paints.
3. Hurry we’re getting late.
Wait. I still have to paint my nails!

WHAT?
Change of plans over last minute telephone conversations. Multi coloured is off; black is being lavished on the pretty toes. I am about to explode….

We reach school, thankfully well in time, as we are known to be punctual folk. Meet up with a bunch of my friends, parents from the school community, and 4am seems the perfect time to air our woes. Our drift is the same, and we begin exchanging notes. The kids who’ve studied together since they were 4 years old are all thick pals. Everything is obviously decided because one look around, and you can see black painted toe nails & flip flops all across the gym.

A harried father of one of her girlfriends joins our animated conversation. “Why black, why is everything black? My daughter is a rebel. A rebel without a cause,” he says. He hit the nail on the head! Mine is too, only until this morning I didn’t have a coined phrase for her. ‘REBEL WITHOUT A CAUSE’ - It does feel better putting her into a category of sorts! (Am I being mean?)

The harried man goes on to add. (They are Bengalis from Eastern India, and this is the most auspicious month for them. They gather at a community fair at this time every year to offer obeisance to their goddess). "We went to the prayer service and fair yesterday and she went dressed like ‘that’." He points to his daughter dressed in shorts, sneakers & a black tee. In India, at fairs like these, you would find people dressed, or rather overdressed, in traditional attire. He continues…"Then when we went to offer flowers to the deity, she stood far from us, refusing to join us, asking what we expected to achieve by doing 'all this'. What do you think you'll ‘get’?" He was pretty alarmed by the sign of times to come as she said she didn’t believe in ‘stuff like this’!

I got back and related this to the hub, who is on the quieter side, and pretty much reserved about his thoughts in public! He had but one comment to make, and with a smile of amused relief. "Thankfully we aren’t religious, so at least we have one less thing to argue over!"
That said, it’s not easy bringing up teens. The daughter has marked her ‘rebel’ path, and the son is beginning to show similar signs too, like an infectious disease! To those who have ‘been there, done that’, when does it get better? And to those that have yet to get ‘there’, good luck to you! This saga never ends!


This post was written by Deeba
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15 comments:

Deeba, loved reading it.
"Rebel without a cause" - my son sure is. (he is only two yrs old). Long way to go !
-KG

Anonymous said...
September 30, 2009 at 6:46:00 PM GMT+2  

Oh dear, I bet this is on the horizon very soon between the almost 10 year-old and papoose (who already has a mind of her own). I can just imagine you talking to her Deeba.

Hilda said...
September 30, 2009 at 8:29:00 PM GMT+2  

Deeba- they do show signs of 'RWC' frm an age as good as 3! Well my son does..hes gonna b 4, but pretty bizzare choice of tee's, denims n more so his footwear! I m all geared up for the age u have beautifully worded here!! :(

Purnima said...
October 1, 2009 at 4:26:00 PM GMT+2  

Are you living my life, I wonder? ;-D
Rebel without a cause describes A to a T!
And you know what? My husband and daughter were in splits when I read this out. My daughter's just delighted she's found a kindred spirit in yours.

Aparna said...
October 1, 2009 at 5:00:00 PM GMT+2  

I am glad aparna talked about this article in Twitter so i could read this too. It is so so funny.
I do can imagine, hand in there deebe went through the colours, black period etc... it will get better.
Here shyama is much better now that she is 17. It is like her rebel period is gone, now atleast we are hopping.
Untill she brings a BF home and then hubby is going to be WILD

Happy cook said...
October 1, 2009 at 5:05:00 PM GMT+2  

Whenever I hear other parents upset and complain about their teens I smile and think to myself "It is nice to know that it isn't just my own! We are all in this together!" And when you think about it, these complaints are pretty mild compared to what things others suffer.

Deeba, our boys are 19 + 21 and we are just starting to see the light. Good luck.

Jamie said...
October 1, 2009 at 5:15:00 PM GMT+2  

err... this makes me feel bad about my teenage tantrums... sorry mum...

Asha @ FSK said...
October 1, 2009 at 5:26:00 PM GMT+2  

Let me be the only one who sympathises with your daughter :P

She will be okay soon. Now, after marriage, saddled with a man, I feel my mom was right most times :) No, don't get her married coz of that! LOL!

October 1, 2009 at 5:27:00 PM GMT+2  

So days I wonder what they think. I have a 20 yrs old, a 18 yrs old and a 15. So I never get out of it. Maybe in a few years. You have to be so prepare for teenage yrs. There is no book on heart that can help you. My husband always said that he picks he battles with the kids.

Helene said...
October 1, 2009 at 7:49:00 PM GMT+2  

You did it, I did it, we all did it... The game never changes, but the seat where we get to observe it from, does...

buffalodick said...
October 1, 2009 at 8:11:00 PM GMT+2  

Now I know what awaits me in the future:-) BTW "community fair" wouldn't really be the correct term to brand Durga Puja with, did the parent say so ?

Bong Mom said...
October 6, 2009 at 9:35:00 PM GMT+2  

Gosh I though my kid was a rebel at 5..guess there's more to await!!!!

Rachel said...
October 17, 2009 at 7:04:00 AM GMT+2  

I like your hubby sense of humour :) I have at least 10 years (if she didn't start earlier that this) to prepare myself for this.

My nephew went thru a rebel stage and he's alright by age 17 or 18. Now that he is in the army, he has totally changed - like a grown man, more mature.

October 20, 2009 at 2:56:00 PM GMT+2  
This comment has been removed by the author.
Nachiketa said...
November 9, 2009 at 9:57:00 AM GMT+1  

"Rebel without a cause"..... was so true of me as well.... [Some streaks still live on ;-) ] but most of us settle down by the time we're 18 or so...

With support from loving parents like Vineet and you, am sure there's no way she's going anywhere but to the top of the world....

Wishing you all the very best in life.. :-)

Ps: if it's any consolation, Daksayani's rebel streak is already visible n things like I will wear ONLY this and not wear another dress etc is already well on it's way.... ;-)
and she's just all of 4....

Nachiketa said...
November 9, 2009 at 9:59:00 AM GMT+1  

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